05_Psalm 102, The Penitential Psalms – Premium Content

Week 5 | Psalm 102 [101]


A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the Lord.

102 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to thee!
Do not hide thy face from me
    in the day of my distress!
Incline thy ear to me;
    answer me speedily in the day when I call!

For my days pass away like smoke,
    and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is smitten like grass, and withered;
    I forget to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
    my bones cleave to my flesh.
I am like a vulture of the wilderness,
    like an owl of the waste places;
I lie awake,
    I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All the day my enemies taunt me,
    those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread,
    and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of thy indignation and anger;
    for thou hast taken me up and thrown me away.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass.

12 But thou, O Lord, art enthroned for ever;
    thy name endures to all generations.
13 Thou wilt arise and have pity on Zion;
    it is the time to favor her;
    the appointed time has come.
14 For thy servants hold her stones dear,
    and have pity on her dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
    and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
16 For the Lord will build up Zion,
    he will appear in his glory;
17 he will regard the prayer of the destitute,
    and will not despise their supplication.

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
    so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height,
    from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,
    to set free those who were doomed to die;
21 that men may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,
    and in Jerusalem his praise,
22 when peoples gather together,
    and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

23 He has broken my strength in midcourse;
    he has shortened my days.
24 “O my God,” I say, “take me not hence
    in the midst of my days,
thou whose years endure
    throughout all generations!”

25 Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26 They will perish, but thou dost endure;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Thou changest them like raiment, and they pass away;
27     but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.
28 The children of thy servants shall dwell secure;
    their posterity shall be established before thee.

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Listen (Receive the Word via audio or video.)

Observe (Connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

Psalm 102 is an exilic psalm that brings to mind for the people of God the reasons for their exile from the homeland. After listening to the terms of the covenant in Deuteronomy 28, where are you experiencing the “curse” (consequences) of sin in your own life, and what do those consequences have to do with particular idolatries in your life?

Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

What do you want to say to Him about that? Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Hear my prayer, O LORD, let my cry come to Thee! Amen +

What we discussed | Show Notes


Minutes 00:12:00 – Verses 1-2: Jeremiah as author of Psalm 102 and the prophet’s background, Mishnah listing as psalm for fasting, covenant Name for God  x8 and significance

Minutes 12:01-24:00 –  Verses 3-11: purgatory parallels, birds of prey and “vomit”

Minutes 24:01-36:00 – Deuteronomy 28, curses and blessings of the peoples’ covenant with God  

Minutes 36:01-48:00 – OT timeline, Messianic ending of the psalm

Other Resources

Create in Me a Clean Heart: 10 Minutes a Day with the Penitential Psalms, book by Sarah Christmyer

A “Spiritual Cleanse” with the Penitential Psalms

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